Jonathan Lee, 2022 Rocky Hill Borough Council Candidate
Retired after a 35-year career in IT management for Fortune 500 companies.
Family/Personal: He is married to the editor-in-chief of The Montgomery News, Barbara Preston. They have lived in the borough for 11 years.
Why are you running?
I want to step up and support the wonderful community of Rocky Hill.
Top three issues:
Maintain and upgrade our aging water infrastructure and, due to new regulations, a requirement to decrease the amount of PFOS in our water supply.
Managing the increasing traffic along the Route 518 corridor due to the tremendous amount of development in the area.
Maintaining the important cultural heritage that has been the Mary Jacobs Library.
Economic growth ideas:
Possible new businesses could include: an art gallery, a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch (not offered by current restaurants in town), or a bread bakery.
Thoughts on Mary Jacobs Memorial Library
The library building is a community asset. Unfortunately, too little creative and imaginative solutions have been applied to the use of the building. Why can’t MJL morph into a community center, which includes a library and other services? These could include a maker space, broadcast studio, or other creative spaces.
With the removal of the words “library” and “Rocky Hill” in the foundation’s articles of incorporation is the foundation turning its back on the community? As an elected official, my role is to advocate for the citizens of the borough. Since the Mary Jacobs Foundation is a private trust the council has limited influence other than continuing to pursue a dialog with the board and hoping they will live up to the terms of their contractual obligation. There currently is an agreement to continue to offer library services between the foundation, the borough, Montgomery Township, and the Somerset County Library System.
I believe the library has been and should continue to be an important cultural asset of Rocky Hill. Given the increased development in the area, including within Rocky Hill, I feel that the proposed temporary solution with a reduced footprint will not properly support the citizens of the borough.
What are your goals for the municipal water system?
I do not support the acquisition or lease of our water system to NJ American Water. Rocky Hill has good water. Our water meets all of the state’s standards except PFOS which we are in the process of remediating. We have grants and loans in place to cover the costs of that and to replace aging water mains.
Police and Pubic Safety
We are lucky to be endowed with a safe community, however a 45-minute response time is not acceptable in an emergency. I believe we should investigate a shared services agreement with a neighboring town. At present, we have such an agreement for traffic control with Franklin Township. ■